Updated: 09/03/2014 5:41 PM
Created: 09/03/2014 6:39 AM WHEC.com
Making sure your kids get to and from school…now there's an app for that.
Any parent will tell you when it comes to their children, safety is number one. Now parents in one school district can track the whereabouts of their son or daughter's bus just by downloading an app.
The idea is to give parents peace of mind but others wonder if anyone can download the app, how safe is it?
“I will be tracking them at all times and they can never get away from me.” Keri Barbaritz will be signing up for an app that will allow her to follow her kids’ route on the school bus. “It sounds like a great idea because all these parents out there never know where the bus is or what route it's taking and now that we can follow it, we know exactly where it's going and if it goes off course we know there's something wrong.”
It's part of a whole new transportation system in Batavia.
Gene Kowalczewski of Student Transportation America said, “Starts with new equipment, brand new buses, state of the art GPS, brand new digital cameras then it's finished off with the Safe Stop app.”
Scott Rozanski of Batavia City Schools said, “This helps monitor, especially in the winter, the cold times. You don't want your little Johnny outside for 10 minutes if the bus is running late.”
Parents can sign up on a website and once they are registered, they can see their child’s bus moving on a map on their phone or computer. All it takes to enroll is the student's ID number. We asked if that’s secure. Rozanski said, Well in order to sign up and track a child you need to have the child's ID number so I guess if that got compromised that would be a risk.”
The program is voluntary and if parents are uncomfortable, they don’t have to sign up. Your first child is free and the second child costs $4 per month. For Barbaritz, it’s a small price to pay. “Knowing where your kids are gives you a sense of relief.’
There are 800 students in the District that ride buses. Parents should be able to sign up online within the next week.
Batavia is the only district in our area offering the app.